Friday book review – A Place For Us

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 18th July 2014

Harriet Evans A Place for USNew ideas are spinning out of the publishing world at lightning speed.

This week David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas fame) has taken the Twittersphere by storm by releasing a short story called The Right Sort in 280 tweets.

Meanwhile Headline Review has decided to serialise Harriet Evans’s new novel, A Place For Us, in four exclusive parts.

The first instalment will be out on July 31, with the second, third and fourth extracts following in August, September and October. The instalments will all be in ebook form and the complete novel will be published in January 2015 – as an ebook and in paperback.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on part one and I’m completely hooked. I don’t say this lightly but I’m counting the days till the next instalment is out.

I’ve enjoyed Harriet Evans’s earlier novels but A Place For Us is in a different league. If you love novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard, Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher you’ll adore this story of renowned artist David Winter, his wife Martha and their extended family. On the surface they have the perfect life – a long and happy marriage, a stunning house in a golden Somerset village and three grown-up children.

The novel opens with Martha’s decision to invite the whole family home – ostensibly to celebrate her 80th birthday but also to make “an important announcement.” Sure enough, little by little we discover that the family isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Everyone seems to have a secret, some more shocking than others – and it looks as though Martha is going to spill the beans at her party.

Publishing A Place For Us instalment by instalment (Dickens-style) is a brainwave. If my reaction to the book is anything to go by readers who buy the first extract will snap up the next three parts in double-quick time. That’s certainly what I’m going to do…

A Place For Us Part 1 by Harriet Evans (Headline Review, £1.49)

2 comments so far

  • It sounds great, but I have learned from experience that I am best waiting until they are all available. I like things in one dose, quite possibly because I read too much in between release dates to fully enjoy the story in parts. I end up having to read the previous parts again, and that seems like a waste of precious time. Luckily I have a wishlist on Amazon which caters to this problem, called ‘awaiting final of series’ to ensure that I don’t miss out!

  • I usually like to read a book in one go – like you, Linsey. But this serialisation really appeals to me and I’m enjoying looking forward to the next instalment!

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